From how genes work together to defend against predators as part of the Science on Sundays drop-in talk series – to testing your tree identification skills in a new tree trail alongside pop up ‘meet the scientist’ stands during the Cambridge Science Festival – to a 24-hour species hunt to discover and record the diversity of wildlife in the Garden.
“We have a collection of over 8,000 species of plants from all over the world here in the Garden providing a living laboratory for scientists. We love to inspire and share the exciting world of plant science with our visitors and we hope our season of science events will be enjoyed by all ages visiting the Garden over the next few months.”
Science on Sundays
Discover how plant genes work together to survive challenges, defend against predators and are passed onto the next generation. Find out about the role of the ‘invisible hand’ of floral scent in plant diversity in attracting pollinators. Hear about the latest technologies used to uncover rare minerals rarely found on earth.
These are some of the topics being discussed at CUBG’s ‘Science on Sundays’ series – a programme of free, informal, monthly drop-in plant science talks between March to August, suitable for ages 12+. Talks are held at 11am and repeated at 2pm.
New Science Trails
16-24 March, 10am-5pm
Plants and chemicals exploration trail
Explore the fascinating world of plant chemistry around the Garden. Celebrating the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, our new plants and chemicals exploration trail will lead visitors to plants that have unique adaptations for extracting and storing chemical elements used for growth, reproduction, defence and communication.
Do you know your oaks from your ashes? Take part in the tree trail around CUBG and find out how to identify different types of British trees, why tree identification is important for saving British trees and what you can do to help.
Suitable for adults and children age 15+
Trail leaflets can be collected from the pop up stands during the weekends and during the week from the Garden’s ticket offices. Normal Garden admission applies.
Research Pop Up Stands
16, 17, 23, 24 March 2019, 11am-3pm
Meet researchers from Cambridge University’s Department of Plant Sciences during the Cambridge Science Festival as they showcase their latest research.
Recommended age: 11+
Secret conversations between plants and fungi beneath our feet
Dr Jeongmin Choi and Dr Leoni Luginbuehl showcase their research on the below-ground interactions between plants and their beneficial fungal partners, also known as mycorrhizae. This research showcase aims to engage visitors to the Garden with the relatively unexplored, yet vital relationships between plants and below ground organisms. Our understanding of these relationships is in its infancy. The latest discoveries in this exciting field will be on display, along with opportunities to engage with the Plants and Chemicals Exploration Trail which will be launching in the Garden at the same time.
Trees under threat
Dr Cerian Webb and Dr Ciara Dangerfield showcase their research on tree disease modelling. Tree diseases are a major threat to urban trees and forests in the UK. To understand the spread of disease and develop methods to combat their spread, researchers need help with mapping trees across the UK. However current data on locations of different tree species is limited and is often not very accurate. An important part of their research is looking at how more accurate information on the location and species of trees within the UK can be collected. Visitors will be able to contribute to this project by taking part in a tree ID trail around the Botanic Garden and discovering which species are under threat.
Research pop up stands will be based near the café where visitors will be able to interact with the researchers and discover more about the latest plant science taking place within the University.
Cost: Free, normal Garden Admission charges apply.
No pre-booking required.
BioBlitz with the Museum of Zoology
27 and 28 April
Join us as we explore the Botanic Garden for wildlife, counting as many species as we can in 24-hours. Book onto a wildlife workshop or drop-in to discover, identify and record the wonderful animals and plants of the Garden.
- nature walks around the Garden
- surveying activities – pond-dipping, moth-trapping, bug-hunts and bat walks
- insect, amphibian and moth trapping as experts will set traps overnight to be checked early the next morning
A programme of wildlife workshop activities to suit different age groups and listing the age limit for each bookable event are available to book here. Drop-in family-friendly activities will also be available.
Pre-bookable events will run until 10.30pm Saturday 27 April and from 6am Sunday 28 April. Bookings will open towards the end of March.
Drop-in events will run from 12 noon-6pm Saturday 27 April and 10am-1pm Sunday 28 April.
Garden admission charges apply.
Festival of Plants
Saturday 18 May, 10am – 5pm
Set in the Garden’s 40 acres, the Festival of Plants celebrates the wonder of plants at a beautiful time of year when the Garden is brimming with spring colour.
- themed, free, guided tours including behind-the-scenes of the Reserve and Experimental Glasshouses
- pop-up family-friendly interactive plant science stalls where University researchers demonstrate some of the latest plant science
- ‘Ask-the-Gardener’ panel of experts on hand to deal with your garden dilemmas
- 10-minute, bite-size talks about a range of exciting and innovative plant-related topics
- specialist plants stalls
- children’s craft activities
- Cambridge Orchid Society Annual Show
- live music and pop-up food trucks
Normal Garden admission charges apply.
To avoid queuing, tickets will be available to purchase in advance from the Station Road and Brookside ticket offices.